PM’s remarks at joint inauguration with Malaysian Prime Minister, of The Economic Times Asian Business Leaders’ Conclave 2016 in Kuala Lumpur (via video conferencing)
His Excellency Dato Sri Mohammad Najib, Hon’ble Prime Minister of Malaysia,
Members of the Management of Economic Times,
Ladies and Gentlemen!
It is a great pleasure to jointly inaugurate The Economic Times Asian Business Leaders’Conclave 2016 with His Excellency the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
The fact that the Economic Times has chosen Kuala Lumpur as the venue for this Conclave proves the importance of Malaysia as a commercial and business destination.
My best wishes for the Conclave!
Under the leadership of His Excellency the Prime Minister, Malaysia is moving towards its goal of achieving developed country status by 2020.
It has also shown resilience in coping with the global economic situation.
The timeless ties between India and Malaysia are reinforced by the presence of a large Indian community.
A recent symbol of our historic links is the Torana Gate in the heart of Kuala Lumpur which connects two great nations and two great cultures.
In recent times, we have forged a Strategic Partnership.
My visit to Malaysia in November last year served to reinforce this strategic engagement across a range of areas.
Close relations with Malaysia are integral to the success of our Act East Policy.
India’s initiatives including a Project Development Fund and Line of Credit have given a huge fillip to India-ASEAN cooperation.
The leaders of ASEAN countries have led efforts for better integration among the countries of the region.
This initiative to bring the business leaders of Asia together is therefore very timely.
I have said on many occasions that the twenty first century is the century of Asia.
Asia where there are Hands to work, Homes to Consume and Heads have the Humility to learn.
Despite unfavourable and uncertain global economic environment, the growth prospects of the Asian region have been a ray of hope.
India is currently witnessing an economic transformation.
It is not only one of the fastest growing large economies in the world. It is also marked by initiatives centered around:
– ease of doing business
-making governance transparent and efficient
-reducing regulatory overburden
Presently, cleaning the system from black money and corruption is very high on my agenda.
This comes closely after digitisation and introduction of GST.
The outcomes of our efforts are visible from India’s global rankings on various indicators.
India’s rank has gone up in World Bank’s Doing Business Report.
We are fast closing the gap between business practices in India and the best in the world.
We are ranked third in the list of top prospective host economies for 2016-18 in the World Investment Report 2016 released by UNCTAD.
Our rank improved by 32 positions in World Economic Forum’s ‘Global Competitiveness Report 2015-16 and 2016-17’;
We improved 16 places in ‘Global Innovation Index 2016’ and 19 positions in the World Bank’s ‘Logistics Performance Index of 2016’.
We have opened up new sectors for FDI and enhanced caps for existing sectors.
Our concerted efforts on major FDI policy reforms continue, and conditions for investment have been simplified.
The results are there for all to see.
Total FDI inflows in the last two and a half years have touched US Dollars 130 billion.
Highest ever FDI inflows were received during the last year.
The increase in FDI equity inflows in the last two financial years was 52 per cent as compared to previous two financial years.
Sources and sectors in which FDI is coming have also greatly diversified.
Our ‘Make in India’ initiative which celebrated its second anniversary this year, is aimed at making India a global hub of manufacturing, design and innovation.
I would like to highlight some of our achievements:
We have now become the sixth largest manufacturing country in the world.
Our Gross Value Added in manufacturing has recorded a growth of 9.3 per cent in 2015-16.
51 cold chain projects have been completed in the last two years and six Mega Food Parks have been opened since 2014;
19 new textile parks have been sanctioned and 200 new production units have come up in existing textile parks in the last 2 fiscal years.
This year saw 90 per cent jump in number of mobile phone units manufactured in India;
Leading global players in the auto sector have setup various new assembly lines and Greenfield units.
Our efforts to ensure ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in India have been comprehensive and wide ranging, including legislative and structural.
I am happy to share that:
The constitutional amendment for Goods and Services Tax has been passed.
This is expected to be implemented in 2017.
We are moving towards a digital and cashless economy.
Our licensing regime has been greatly rationalised.
We have launched Single Window Interfaces for registering a business, EXIM clearances and Labour compliance.
Procedures involved in getting utilities like water and electricity are being simplified.
An investor facilitation cell has been created to guide and assist the investors.
Our partnership with the State Governments has also enhanced considerably since the launch of Make in India.
In association with the World Bank, the States were ranked on the basis of their business policies and procedures on agreed parameters in 2015.
This was further expanded in 2016.
We have adopted for the first time ever, a comprehensive National Intellectual Property Rights policy to lay a future roadmap for intellectual property.
We have also taken major steps to kick-start the process of ‘creative destruction’.
We are making it easier for companies to restructure and exit.
The enactment and implementation of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code is a crucial step towards ease of exit in India.
New Commercial Courts are being set up to fast track resolution of commercial disputes.
Arbitration laws have also been amended to fast track the proceedings.
India is currently buzzing with entrepreneurial activity like never before.
Start-ups are the next big economic force in India and are no less than a revolution.
Our Start–up India program aims to unleash our potential in this area.
Our economic process is being geared towards activities which are vital for generating employment or self-employment opportunities.
This is the only way to reap the demographic dividend.
Through the ‘Skill India’ initative and its various components, we are trying to synergise the skills to the market requirements.
Building futuristic infrastructure is the biggest task at hand.
We are developing a pentagon of industrial corridors across the country.
There is immense focus on removing the logistic constraints across the country.
Roads, railways, ports are being upgraded across the country.
To finance such infrastructure, we have set up the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund in collaboration with foreign funds.
This is a time for integration.
Integration cannot happen without openness.
India has always been open at the heart.
Now, at the level of economy also, we are among the most open and integrated economies.
We welcome those who are not there in India so far.
I personally assure you that I shall be there when you need me.
India is not only a good destination;
It is always a good decision to be in India.